As the new decade begins, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is launching a new vision and mission to achieve the change we want to see in the world. We were founded in 1982 with the purpose of “conducting a continuing inquiry… [into] requirements for peace in the nuclear age.” Much has changed in these past 38 years, and the pace of technological and social change in the third decade of this new millennium is astounding.
Here is our new mission statement:
We educate and train people of all ages and backgrounds to solve the most dangerous technological, social, and psychological issues of our time, and to survive and thrive in the 21st century.
It is clear to us that achieving policy change and strong treaties is insufficient to create a world in which nuclear weapons can be abolished and stay abolished. In 2019 alone, numerous important bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements were unceremoniously scrapped by the Trump administration, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the Paris Climate Accords.
This is why we are focusing on addressing the root causes that allow things like nuclear weapons and war to exist in our world. This decade, we are scaling up our Peace Literacy Initiative to provide education and training to people of all ages and backgrounds.
We are confident that our efforts will lead us to the kind of world that we envision in our vision narrative:
A world in which people are as well-trained in waging peace as soldiers currently are in waging war.
Trauma. Mass Shootings. Racism. Addictions. Extremism. War. Nuclear Weapons.
These are some of the most dangerous technological, social, and psychological issues we face today. In our efforts to create a more peaceful world, it can seem like we’re facing immense adversaries and overwhelming odds.
These adversaries represent wounds and rage in the human psyche and unjust systems in our world.
To effectively meet these challenges, we need people to be as well-trained in waging peace as soldiers are in waging war.
A world in which peace is realistic, resilient, and sustainable.
Our world can no longer settle for peace as an abstract concept or sentimental wish. We teach the practical skills and frameworks needed to create peace that is realistic, resilient, and sustainable.
We design and distribute Peace Literacy Curriculum. Free. Available to every student in every school around the globe, from kindergarten to college and beyond.
Your support helps us keep our curriculum free, train teachers in its effective use, and expand our reach and impact.
Peace Literacy gives students the tools to heal trauma, resolve conflict, and navigate increasingly complex and powerful technologies, so that they can promote the flourishing of relationships, families, classrooms, workplaces, communities, nations, and our planet.
Peace Literacy helps students gain realistic hope by teaching them the skills needed to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century.
A world in which nuclear weapons can be abolished and stay abolished.
After nuclear weapons were invented, Albert Einstein said, “The splitting of the atom has changed everything, save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” We continue to see technological development rapidly outpacing humans’ moral and ethical evolution.
Peace Literacy prepares people with the tools they need to address the root causes – such as ruthlessness, mistrust, rage, racism, and cynicism – that allow nuclear weapons to exist.
If we do not address these root causes, neither the necessary policy change nor the necessary collective mindset change will occur to allow nuclear weapons to be abolished and stay abolished.
In a time when we humans have become the greatest threat to our own survival, Peace Literacy is survival literacy.
Our new vision and mission are the next logical step in our continuing inquiry into the requirements for peace in our world. We can’t thank our supporters enough for standing with us for the past 38 years to get us to this point. Exciting change is stirring through Peace Literacy, and I invite you to join us in this smart, bold effort.
Rick Wayman is CEO of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.